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William De Winton Peel

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William De Winton Peel (1850-1884)

1885 Obituary [1]

WILLIAM DE WINTON PEEL, second son of the late Major Peel of Aylesmore, Gloucestershire, was born at Llanstophan, Radnorshire, on the 22nd of October, 1850, and was educated at Cheltenham College.

In December, 1869, he became a pupil of Mr. George W. Keeling, M.Inst.C.E., of Lydney, and assisted in the construction of the Severn and Wye Railway.

When the Duke of Argyll founded the Royal Indian Engineering College at Cooper’s Hill in July, 1871, Mr. Peel became one of the first batch of candidates, and passed fourteenth. While at Cooper’s Hill he was exceedingly popular, and was both in the eleven and football teams, besides being an oarsman, and one of the four which rowed at Henley in 1872.

Having previous to his entrance to the College been a pupil to a practical engineer, Mr. Peel formed part of the first five pupils despatched to India. Arriving in November, 1873, he was sent as an Assistant Engineer (second grade) to the Saidpur Railway, in North Bengal, was raised to first grade in March, 1878, became Secretary to Colonel Lindsay, R.E., and during the Afghan war was sent to Sind as an Assistant Engineer on the Sibi and Quetta Railway.

While surveying for this railway, he tumbled down a cliff some 60 feet high, and was invalided home in March 1880. He returned to India in the following October; in May 1881 was made Executive Engineer, Fourth grade, and in 1883 got another step.

He was Under Secretary to the Bengal Government P.W.D. Railway Branch at his death, which happened on May 4th, 1884, of typhoid fever, after three weeks’ illness at Darjeeling.

Mr. Peel was exceedingly popular in the service, and was said to be one of the most rising Cheltonians in India. Although of a retiring disposition in private life, he was a thorough sportsman, riding well to hounds, was much addicted to pig-sticking, possessed a few steeplechase horses, which carried him to victory on more than one occasion, and had many trophies to show of his prowess with the rifle among the bear, the tiger, and other wild animals of the Himalayan forests.

He was elected an Associate Mlember of the Institution on the 4th of February, 1879.

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